Has the use of topical retinol during my first trimester harmed my baby?

Patient

Q: Hi there,

I am worried sick right now. I am 12 weeks pregnant, and I just found out that the facial moisturizer/sunscreen I've been using for the last 12 weeks has retinol in it. It is Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer with Accelerated Retinol SA (sustained action). Apparently, the company claims that Retinol SA is distinct from Retinol because of its ability to deeply penetrate the skin and continue to work for 12 hours after its application. I use it on my face, about a quarter size, roughly 4 times/week. I am so worried that this deeper-penetrating retinol has seeped into my skin, into my bloodstream, to harm my baby and cause the birth defects known to result from retinol use during pregnancy.

Every website I look at says to avoid topical retinol during pregnancy. I am sick with worry, and would appreciate the response of a doctor (i.e. OB or Dermatologist), that can tell me if I've caused risk/harm to my growing baby, or not.

Thank you.

Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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